Cultured Pearls Versus Freshwater Pearls
Throughout history, pearls have shown themselves in practically every civilization imaginable. One of the reasons why Pearls are adorned and coveted is for their beauty. Beauty is the reason why pearls have their place in history. As pearls earned their reputation as a treasure, they were also used as currency. The most valued pearls are the roundest, largest, lustrous cleanest pearls. Japanese Akoya saltwater pearls whose oyster's inhabit the oceans of the world are responsible for culturing the roundest most lustrous pearls in the world. Freshwater pearls are the product of mussells that inhabit freshwater lakes and rivers. Technically, if freshwater pearls were the largest, roundest most lustrous pearls in the world, they could be worth as much as saltwater. However, they are not. Freshwater pearls are characterized by their irregular shapes and unusual colors. Supply and demand also contribute to the value of pearls. There is a plethora of freshwater pearls available each year—unlike saltwater pearls whose perfectly round shapes and mirror-like luster make them a true paragon. This is why freshwater pearls are so affordable. Whereas saltwater pearls are investment grade quality, freshwater pearls are closer to costume jewelry in their prices. Regardless of their price or rarity, freshwater pearls are nontheless beautiful and very economical.